Witte Museum in San Antonio to Receive $4 Million for Expansion

The Witte Museum in San Antonio has announced a five-year, $4 million grant from the Valero Energy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corporation, to support a planned expansion.

The contribution will serve as the lead gift for Phase II of the project, which includes the glass-enclosed Valero Great Hall, an entry and lobby space featuring a suspended birdlike dinosaur with a forty-foot wingspan.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the museum hopes to conclude the $50 million capital campaign in 2011, with construction slated for 2012. Budgeted at $25 million, Phase I of the expansion will feature a South Texas heritage center and another facility to display more of the museum's extensive collections. Budgeted at $9 million, Phase III will cover construction of a Center for Rivers and Aquifers, which will house interactive exhibits exploring the history and future of water in the state. When the project is complete, the Witte's campus will have doubled from four to eight acres.

With the Valero gift, the museum has raised $13.5 million for the campaign. "They have great leadership, great board support, and they've been able to encourage other large gifts," Rich Marcogliese, Valero's chief operating officer and a museum board member for five years, told the Express-News. "They have created a certain amount of excitement among the giving community, and it's good to be part of the overall effort."

Deborah Martin. "Witte Gets $4 Million to Help Expansion." San Antonio Express-News 09/10/2008. "Valero Announces Historic Gift to Witte Museum." Witte Museum Press Release 09/10/2008.